According to recent 2010 surveys, there are over 190,000 evangelical and conservative Protestant congregations with over 43,000,000 congregants. Add to that, 77,000 mainline Protestant congregations with 22,000,000 congregants. That is 65,000,000 people! That is more than enough people to make a significant difference, but we can’t sit around and think the others will do it. We must act. The question is, will you and your church go outside your comfort zone and work in those communities around you to help those in need with compassion, justice, and the gospel?
We need a mind shift. For too long churches have been trying to be the best church in the community. We have compared ourselves with other churches. But is that the right measuring stick? Is that what God wants? Perhaps there are better metrics. Maybe we should quit striving to be the best church “in” and become, as the author Eric Swanson suggests, the best church “for” the community. You can read about it in his book, The Externally Focused Quest: Becoming the Best Church for the Community. Since he wrote that book, he has even gone further and has said that we should be the best church “with” the community. In his writings, Eric asks a sobering question that we need to consider. He asks, “If your church were to close its doors, would anyone in the community be upset?” It is a serious question and one that we may not like the answer to. But here is the good news. It is not too late! We can still make a difference. We can embrace our mission, to be a true community church and start considering different ways we can be the hands and feet of Jesus right where we worship. We can take on a new mantra, one that says, “Yes, we want to be the best church for and with the community.”
Taken from Ron Ovitt’s book, Five Signs Of A Healthy Christian